More than 200 pieces of artwork will be on display
In honor of the 60th anniversary of the Air Force Art Program, more than 200 pieces of artwork will be on display at the museum from Oct. 22 through Dec. 31. The paintings, which have all been donated to the Art Program within the past two years, can be viewed during regular museum hours (9 a.m.-5 p.m. daily). The U.S. Air Force Art Collection documents the story of the Air Force through the universal language of art. The actions and deeds of Air Force men and women are recorded in paintings by eminent American artists in a way words alone could never tell. These paintings are both historical and educational and expose the military and the public to the role and diverse capabilities of the U.S. Air Force.
Celebrate Halloween at Family Day
Wear your costume to the museum on Oct. 16
Celebrate Halloween by learning fun aerospace principles through Halloween-themed activities during Family Day on Saturday, Oct. 16 from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m. Activities include learning about air vortices by "shooting" at Halloween targets, a chance to learn about density by "bobbing" for apples, an activity that teaches about sound waves with screaming cups and balloons, and an opportunity to build and fly a Halloween ring glider. In addition, "storytime" will be available for younger visitors. Visitors are encouraged to wear Halloween costumes and those that participate in activities will receive small goody bags full of stickers, candy and aviation trading cards as they leave the museum (while supplies last). Admission and parking are free. Click here for more information.
Join Dr. Conrad C. Crane on Oct. 27
Director of U.S. Army Military History Institute to speak
Dr. Conrad C. Crane will present "A Rather Bizarre War: The Air Force Learns and Adapts in Korea" on Wednesday, Oct. 27 at 7:30 p.m. During his presentation, Crane will discuss how the Korean War was the first armed engagement for the newly formed U.S. Air Force but far from the type of conflict it expected or wanted to fight. As the first air war of the nuclear age, it posed a major challenge to the service to define and successfully carry out its mission by stretching the constraints of limited war while avoiding the excesses of total war. The impressive record of how the Air Force learned and adapted in combat reveals much about the capabilities, and limitations, of air power. Click here to learn more about Conrad's career.
Defense Support Program satellite
A structural test vehicle from the Defense Support Program (DSP), which helped to provide the Air Force with early warning of ballistic missile launches or above ground nuclear detonations, was recently transferred to the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force by Northrop Grumman. This 35-foot-long structural test vehicle, which is now on display in the museum's Missile & Space Gallery, includes the infrared sensor Trailblazer component without the associated electronics. Structural test vehicles are full-sized units used to verify that all the components fit together correctly. After the Cold War ended, DSP satellites demonstrated additional flexibility. They detected Iraqi Scud missile launches during Operation Desert Storm, and scientists used their infrared sensors as part of an early warning system for natural disasters like volcanic eruptions and forest fires. Click here for additional information on the museum's DSP satellite.
North American's XB-70A bomber exceeded its design speed of Mach 3 for the first time in a flight from Edwards Air Force Base. Because of fund limitations, only two were built -- not as bombers, but as research aircraft for the advanced study of aerodynamics, propulsion and other subjects related to large supersonic aircraft. The No. 1 XB-70 made its initial flight in 1964. The No. 2 airplane first flew in 1965 but crashed following a mid-air collision in June 1966. The No. 1 airplane continued in its research program until it was flown to the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force on Feb. 4, 1969. Today, the No. 1 XB-70 is on display in the museum's R&D Gallery. Click here for additional information on the museum's XB-70.